Community dog walks
Community Dog Walks are an excellent way for dog socialising so long as it's done in the correct way. Some of our Bark Busters trainers offer a free service in your area to socialise your dog in the correct manner. The details of a scheduled community dog walk may be displayed at the top of this page. If not try contacting your local trainer to see if they offer a scheduled walk in your area.
If you’re thinking of organising your own community dog walk or dog socialisation event, then you may find the following advice useful.
Dog Walking Etiquette
We know you love your dog; however we all have a duty of care towards members of the public and other dog owners to be responsible and considerate dog owners. Here at Bark Busters, we want EVERYONE, members of the public and dog owners alike, to enjoy walking in the countryside or parks, without the fear of being worried or attacked by dogs. We also want a safe environment for children where they can grow up without an inherent fear of dogs. Below are some points that may help us all achieve that.
- Keep your dog under control when outdoors by keeping him on a lead or under voice control. Even if your dog is off lead in an approved area, supervise his whereabouts and behaviour at all times.
- Teach your dog to walk calmly on a loose lead. A dog that pulls on the lead is not pleasant to walk and can cause serious injury, such as aching arms, back and shoulder injury. This kind of pulling by a dog on either a collar or a harness is also harmful to the dog as it can cause injury to the dog’s airways, neck and shoulders etc.
- Always take a lead with you on walks even if you believe your dog does not need one. There’s always the possibility that one day a running child, the kicked football, a running cat, squirrel or other dog may prove too much for your dog to resist.
- Even the friendliest dog should never be allowed to rush up to a person or another dog, especially if the other dog is on a lead. It may cause difficulty for the other owner as their dog may feel trapped and your dog may therefore be the cause of an aggressive response. Remember not all dogs are as friendly as your dog. They may have had a bad experience in the past, may have an injury or could be aggressive to other dogs.
- When meeting hikers or runners on a trail, step to the side to give them space to get by you.
- As a dog owner, you should be aware of the laws which affect you and your dog.
- The Dangerous Dogs Act states that it is a criminal offence if your dog is "dangerously out of control" in a public place. A "dangerously out of control" dog can be defined as a dog that has injured someone or a dog or that a person has grounds for reasonable apprehension that it may do so’. So your friendly soppy pet, jumping up at someone on a walk could be interpreted by some as “dangerously out of control”. The police do have the power to seize dogs and impose a destruction order.
- ALWAYS pick up after your dog if he has toileted in public areas. Disease and parasites can cause havoc with humans as well as dogs, not to mention the unpleasant job of scraping shoes or carpets! Failure to pick up after your dog could see you fined up to £1,000.
- Never allow your dog to chase or worry livestock; a farmer has the right to take steps to stop your dog from worrying his stock, even by shooting in some circumstances. If your dog is not safe around stock always make sure that you keep it on lead.
- It is a legal (and sensible) requirement that your dog has a collar with a tag showing your name and address when in a public place – phone number optional.
- Check with your local council as to where you are legally required to keep your dog on lead. Some bylaws totally forbid you from allowing your dog off lead in certain places.
- NEVER EVER leave a dog unattended with a child. Even dogs who are normally the most loving gentle creatures, could be provoked into an accidental attack by a child, with such things as, poking, taking a toy, tripping over and falling onto the dog or even running or screaming with laughter. It’s just not worth the risk of injury to a child and the loss of your beloved pet. You can find more information about child and dog safety at www.dogsafety.co.uk
In the world we now live we are at risk of losing our rights to enjoy our pets if we don’t abide by some basic laws. In many countries around the World, dogs are NEVER allowed to run free and always have to be muzzled when in a public place. Unless we all act as responsible dog owners our laws on ‘dog control’ in the future may change to be more restrictive. What a sad day that would be if we lose the right to enjoy the good relationships we have with our dogs, neighbours and fellow walkers on the basis we all enjoy today.